Mt Laurel Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School

Mt Laurel Elementary School photo

Mt Laurel Elementary School is one of five schools in Alabama to be named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021, including the five schools in Alabama. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip while visiting an awardee school in Illinois.

The Alabama schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools are: Mt Laurel Elementary School – Shelby County Schools, Kent-Hall Elementary – Homewood City Schools, Brewton Elementary – Brewton City Schools, MacMillian International Academy – Montgomery County Schools, and Orange Beach Elementary – Baldwin County Schools.

“We are so excited! What an honor!” said Mt Laurel Elementary Principal Celita Carmichael. “I am so proud of how hard the faculty and staff have worked to build strong relationships will all stakeholders. The data takes care of itself when relationships are strong.”

Shelby County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lewis Brooks, said he was thrilled to learn the news of Mt Laurel Elementary School’s recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.

“We are grateful to the school’s leaders and teachers who are so deserving of this honor,” Dr. Brooks said. Congratulations to the school and the entire community. We are so proud.”

“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said Secretary Cardona. “I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates.

Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. All five schools of the Alabama schools were recognized as Exemplary High Performing Schools.

Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students. Alabama did not have any schools on this list. Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Department of Education invites National Blue Ribbon Schools nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

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